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Avatar universal

Interferon continues to get a bad rap...

I am in the view now that interferon had been getting a bad rap for the long term post treatment side effects. It would seem to me that the ribavirin stays in your system long after the interferon has been degraded and dismantled by the body. I would think that it would explain the fatigue 6 months / one year post treatment, any thoughts?

Source of information / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribavirin

Ribavirin is absorbed from the GI tract probably by nucleoside transporters. Absorption is about 45%, and this is modestly increased (to about 75%) by a fatty meal. Once in the plasma, ribavirin is transported through the cell membrane also by nucleoside transporters.

Ribavirin is widely distributed in all tissues, including the CSF and brain.

* Distributed to ALL tissues*

The pharmacokinetics of ribavirin is dominated by trapping of the phosphated form inside cells, particularly red blood cells

* Trapping it inside the Red Blood Cell*

The volume of distribution of ribavirin is large (2000 L/kg) and the length of time the drug is trapped varies greatly from tissue to tissue.

* Varies from tissue to tissue* // I am assuming they are also taking into account of organs also.

The mean half-life for multiple doses in the body is about 12 days,

* Half-Life 12 days*

Very long-term kinetics are dominated by the kinetics of RBCs (half-life 40 days).

* RBCs half-life 40 days*

RBCs store ribavirin for the lifetime of the cells, releasing it into the body's systems when old cells are degraded in the spleen.

* RBC holds ribavirin for a life time*


Optimum word here is released into the body’s systems. So is it able to in-bed it self into a new red blood cell after the old has been degraded????

12 Responses
148588 tn?1465782409
It's not so much the half-life of these drugs, but rather the damage that they do. The reason you use birth control for six months after tx is not that the riba (an RNA mutagen) is still around, but rather the damage done to your reproductive system takes that long to clear.
Avatar universal
The reason is because many of the physical problems described post treatment are immune-related and it's the interferon that ramps up the immune system. Interferon is also implicated in psychological problems such as depression per the literature.

Ribavirin is tetragenic meaning it can cause birth defects. So from what I've read it's not that ribavirn damages the reproductive system but that minute amounts of the tetragen may be around for as much as six months, given ribavirin's long half life.

-- Jim
Avatar universal
I’m thinking it is far beyond the pregnancy stage if I am reading this explanation correctly and that is not to say I am and is why I had posted it.
148588 tn?1465782409
Beg to differ. On my way out the door right now, but will look up reference later. It's damaged haploid cells that need to be cleared, not actual presence of riba.
Avatar universal
I'm not familiar if haploid cells are affected, but the literature always mentions the long-half life of ribavirin as the reason to wait.

"...Significant teratogenic and/or embryocidal effects have been demonstrated in all animal species exposed to ribavirin. In addition, ribavirin has a multiple dose half-life of 12 days, and it may persist in non-plasma compartments for as long as 6 months. Ribavirin therapy is contraindicated in women who are pregnant and in the male partners of women who are pregnant..."

Avatar universal
Understand, BUT forget the pregnancy; this is telling me that the ribavirin is trapped inside of the red blood cells for the life time of the cell and when its life is over the cell is degraded by the spleen and in doing so the ribavirin escapes (or is unable to be degraded fully by the spleen) and then is released back into the body to find a newly produced red blood cell, or am I missing something? Another thing I am curious about is if the ribavirin enters tissues, brain etc. could also not be picked up on the blood test markers for symptoms because of the low detection of it over time?

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